Surendra Bimal Yadav of Saptari district has come under the police net, accused of bamboozling aspirant migrant morkers out of hefty sums of money. He stands accused of selling dreams of lucrative overseas employment to many locals of the district who then paid him Rs. 700,000 each.
After receiving the hefty amounts from Kanta Mandal and nine others, the 32-year-old Yadav gave them bogus visas and job offers from Qatar, it is learnt.
They soon realized that they had been cheated. They wanted their money back but Yadav remained out of contact.
The victims subsequently filed complaints at the toll-free number 1177 activated by Metropolitan Crime Division (MCD) of Nepal Police two months ago.
Following the complaints, a squad of MCD personnel was able to bring Yadav in.
“We arrested Surendra Bimal Yadav some 15 days ago. We also found 44 passports in his bag,” said SSP Sarbendra Khanal, chief of MCD.
Likewise, Bijaya Thapa, 22, was arrested by MCD for allegedly providing fake Russian visas to four individuals in Sandhikharka Municipality, Arghakhachi district, after charging them Rs. 500,000 each.
The growing incidence of fraud in foreign employment has only met with government sluggishness in providing justice to the victims. Meanwhile, various agents keep preying on the innocence of aspirant migrant workers.
According to experts, lack of decentralization in foreign employment services and ineffective government monitoring are major problems in foreign employment. The agents are taking undue advantage of the lack of foreign employment services at local level.
Som Luitel, president of People’s Forum for Human Rights, an organization providing free legal aid and paralegal services to migrant workers, pointed out that the mushrooming of agents in every village is the result of ineffectual monitoring,
“Hundreds of agents are working illegally in the villages and the government is turning a blind eye. If there was proper monitoring, there would only be legitimate agents out there and that would make it easier for people to get justice in case they are cheated,” he said.
As per the Foreign Employment Act, an agent should be duly appointed by a licensed manpower agency in order to provide foreign employment services. Providing such services illegally can land one in jail for up to seven years, along with a penalty of Rs. 500,000.
Yadav, who is now in police custody, said in his recorded statement during preliminary investigations that he was working for a manpower company in Kathmandu.
Luitel added that there is urgent need for decentralizing foreign employment services if aspirant migrant workers are not to be duped.